Nigeria Urged to Protect Muslims

Nigeria Urged to Protect MuslimsNigeria Urged to Protect Muslims

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged Nigeria on Monday to take "prompt and serious" action to contain violence against Muslims who have fallen victim to deadly attacks by government forces in recent days.

In a phone call with Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, Zarif voiced "deed concern" over the worrying incidents in which a number of Shia Muslims have been victimized in Nigeria's northern city of Zaria, Tasnim News Agency reported.

"The Nigerian government is expected to take serious and prompt measures to rein in violence, maintain calm and protect the lives of Muslims," Zarif stressed.

Onyeama hoped that consultations would lead to restoration of calm to the region and prevent the escalation of clashes and violence.

Iran's reaction came after Nigerian military forces killed at least 12 Shia Muslims attending a religious ceremony north of the country and besieged the home of the leader of a Shia movement.

Nigerian soldiers killed on Sunday two family members of Sayyid Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, and senior members of his movement.